World rankings permutations: How Six Nations Super Saturday could shake up the top 10

Colin Newboult
England are looking to move into the top-four of the world rankings and could even go ahead of Ireland.

England are looking to move into the top-four of the world rankings and could even go ahead of Ireland.

Ireland’s position in the World Rugby rankings is under threat ahead of their Six Nations encounter with Scotland on ‘Super Saturday’.

Andy Farrell’s men remained in second place when the updated list was released on Monday despite succumbing to a shock 23-22 defeat to England in the fourth round of the competition.

They currently stand on 90.69 points, 3.85 behind world champions South Africa, whose position at the summit will remain safe until at least July.

The permutations

However, it could be New Zealand, and not Ireland, that are leading the chasing pack going into the mid-year series should Farrell’s charges succumb to the Scots in the Six Nations.

A first away win for Gregor Townsend’s men over the Irishmen since 2010 would see the hosts drop behind the All Blacks in the rankings.

They could even dip to fourth should the Scots do the seemingly impossible and emerge with a victory by more than 15 points.

That, combined with a triumph for France over England, would see Les Bleus move up to third and alleviate the pressure on Fabien Galthie.

France v England preview: Les Bleus’ behemoths to overwhelm Red Rose in thrilling Six Nations finale

As for the Red Rose, they will rise into the top-four if they topple the French in Lyon, which would be a good return for Steve Borthwick in this year’s Six Nations.

Borthwick’s men will also move up to third if both they and Scotland win their respective matches by more than 15 points.

If that happens, the French would slip to sixth in the rankings, below the English and Scottish—their lowest position since November 2021.

Finally, Italy can make further strides. After moving ahead of Australia for the first time ever, the Azzurri will rise to eighth if they draw or win against Wales in Cardiff.

They have only been ranked that high once before – in August 2007 – so it could be another historic weekend for the Italians.

Current world rankings

1) South Africa 94.54
2) Ireland 90.69
3) New Zealand 89.80
4) France 87.31
5) England 86.35
6) Scotland 82.82
7) Argentina 80.68
8) Wales 78.62
9) Italy 78.05
10) Australia 77.48

READ MORE: World rankings: Italy’s famous win elevates them above Wallabies for the first time